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Saturday December 20th 2014

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Ears & Fingers Extra 11.21.13

by Jason Leger

Death Grips – ‘Government Plates’

“Do you know what it’s like to be on the bill and to play for 15 minutes and the only people there to see you are the other bands and their girlfriends? Don’t talk to me about Rock and Roll! I’m out there in the clubs and on the streets and I’m living it! I am Rock and Roll!”

These are the immortal words of Chazz Darvey, the leader of the Lone Rangers, the fictional band at the center of the movie “Airheads.” I used to be able to quote this movie back and forth, because I had no friends, so I would watch it every weekend. I loved the attitude that came along with the Lone Rangers garnering acclaim on their own terms. Rock and roll.

Death Grips have become notorious for doing whatever the hell they want. They rose to buzz last year after releasing “No Love, Deep Web” online for free, much to the chagrin of their label, Epic Records, that subsequently dropped them. Since then, the band has seemed to fill its plate with postponed or cancelled performances and pissed off fans. However, last Wednesday, the band reenlisted its fan base with another free release, “Government Plates.” Just under 36 minutes long, this new LP is equal parts punk rock ethos, house, dub, hip hop—and hatred. It’s chaotic, it’s tumultuous, it’s erratic, and it’s easy to get lost in.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely an acquired taste, but I think once—and if—it clicks for you, all will be clear. The band has added some visuals to accompany the new songs on YouTube. My personal favorite is “You Might Think He Loves You for Your Money, But I Know What He Really Loves You For, It’s Your Brand New Leopard-Skin Pillbox Hat.” It’s a mouthful, but it’s legit.

Snag “Government Plates” for free at thirdworlds.net.